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#379872 - 01/25/08 07:47 PM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: bearich]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Very good analysis, bearich!
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#379873 - 01/25/08 10:21 PM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: MattJ]
bearich Offline

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 49
Loc: Dayton, OH

Very good analysis, bearich!

Yeah, I is smart at times

#379874 - 01/26/08 01:06 AM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: bearich]
aikiuke Offline

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Illinois

Maybe there should be some restriction on McDojo's.

Restrictions? Noooo! The last thing we need is the government telling us how to run a business. Now, if there is fraud or something like that the victim should be able to sue or press charges or whatever, but government restrictions = .


Isn't this like teaching kids how to make guns in your basement? you'd think it would be carefully controlled and left to the masters.

don't go around comparing martial arts to guns, we don't want "martial arts control" too now do we?


And for future reference, The Egg came first. eggs were not only around long before the chicken, but the chicken had to come from somewhere. What laid the egg? The chicken's evolutionary predecesor.

I honestly hate the chicken and egg saying especially when it's being applied to other situations so you can ignore what I'm going to say if you want... It doesn't matter which came first if we don't know which is which . Is the instructor the chicken or the egg? The egg could be the product of the chicken or the chicken could be the product of the egg so... confusion. Then again, I was never very good at logic.

Now, who gets the blame? Well, unless you were just wondering, I honestly don't really care. To better state the question though, I would say: what is causing mc dojos to thrive and how can we get rid of whatever it is? To that I would say ignorance caused by pretty much what other people have already said, like the media, and people just not thinking/ being lazy/having unreasonable expectations, and unfortunately probably the best thing we can do for it is to make sure we communicate to people ourselves about what martial arts really are.

#379875 - 01/26/08 01:21 AM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: Vennificus]
GIMark Offline

Registered: 07/21/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Ft. Lewis, WA

No single Martial Art is for everybody.

That pretty much says it, except Martial Arts isn't for everyone. Do you think you could be a pro boxer? How about Pro baseball or football? An Olympic gymnast?

To be really good at Martial Arts you need to have strong spirit, some natural ability, some great teaching and that added extra desire to get to the top. The rest will end up selling black belts to 10 year olds. Hey, everyone has to make money some how. Thats why there are so many McDojo's and even the guys on here who are part of them sometimes have no idea. Not everyone is made to be a Warrior, a protector or a fighter. Takes aspeacial kind of person I believe.

Do you think McDojo's are good for the Martial Arts?
Only one choice allowed

Votes accepted starting: 01/26/08 01:21 AM
You must vote before you can view the results of this poll.
Would you run a McDojo if you were paid really, really good?
Only one choice allowed

Votes accepted starting: 01/26/08 01:21 AM
You must vote before you can view the results of this poll.

#379876 - 02/06/08 09:14 AM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: GIMark]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
I would run a McDojo. I'm not above running a 'for-profit' business that gives the customer what they want. If they want daycare, a social club, or physical fitness and wrap it up in a gi with belts...that is fine. I'd sell them 'harlan's ryu and fitness association'. It would be a business with clear benefits and no lies about what is being offered for the money. Those looking for more...would keeping looking elsewhere. Those that stayed, but that developed and seeking...well...they would get a reference to dojos that offer something more.

And Everybody's Happy.

#379877 - 02/06/08 09:39 AM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: GIMark]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884

To be really good at Martial Arts you need to have strong spirit, some natural ability, some great teaching and that added extra desire to get to the top.

Thow in , a few delusions of grandure, an obsessive compulsive disorder, an some limited options and you are halfway to the nomination for "Soke" of the year at the "World Head of Family Sokeship Council" awards banquet.

Thanks... I'll have the chicken.

#379878 - 02/06/08 01:14 PM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for though [Re: oldman]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Valid claims for the McDojo may go back to the beginning of karate instruction in the states. Starting in the 50’s and 60’s there was no public awareness of karate, and as the image of the instructor took hold it’s own mythology took place.

Back in the early 70’s Fred Villari proclaimed he wanted to have schools teaching karate as McDonalds was selling hamburgers. That may be the source of the McDojo concept.

Being successful on a financial basis, regardless of how you teach, requires adequate cash flow. Adult students have families, work, etc. frequently making the best intentioned students to choose other than karate in a world where there is no public awareness value for karate instruction.

I’ve been teaching youth classes for 30 years now. Long ago when everyone thought I was crazy, even though I teach for free, I made the prediction to keep their schools open they would have to become youth instructors too. I even saw schools teaching ‘good’ karate running karate baby-sitting services on Saturday mornings to provide that ‘extra’ cash. Where there was little instruction and the kids were wild Indians.

Back when I was living/working in Scranton Pa, though there were a number of martial arts schools around, walking around town I was struck with how many dance studios there were. I foresaw that most teaching youth would set up a new nitch in the American psyche, Karate as the boy’s equivalent of the dance studio, and of course from the beginning it was both boys and girls, young men and young women.

In time this came to pass. Then increased cash flow in the dojo led to other instruction being offered in many locations. Other MA’s, Dance, gymnastics, etc. The next growth nitch was kinder karate, getting the 3 to 6 year old students.

Next add advertising, Karate Kids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle kids, etc.
Then other programs. Billy Banks, Krav Maga, designer art de jour all became norms.
Especially competition programs with the mixed style competition starting to drop all limts and XMA growing into existence.

The public had no way to understand what was being presented. More traditional programs didn’t change and remained in the background, scoffing at the mcdojo’s. They understood after school programs. Whether soccer, dance, swimming or karate (to name just a few), if other families were doing it, it must be ok for their kids too. After all they were interested in larger development and could care less about the karate.

The really funny thing is the factor that makes karate training good for building superior kids isn’t the karate. It’s that the parents are paying attention to the kids, even if just taking them too and from class, and the more time parents spend with the kids, the better kids turn out. Of course that isn’t advertised, so that chess club works out as good for the kids as karate, or that the value in dance and soccer is as high as karate class.
But these changes are not limited to McDojo’s or the States. Watch the current running movie on the cable, Budo the Art of Killing. Over 20+ years ago watch a Japanese youth kobudo class…hmmm.

Okinawa means karate is pure, it’s the home of karate, right. Consider this.

Pre early 1980’s there was almost no youth instruction. The pre WWII youth classes in some schools was not universal training. But after Japan regained control of Okinawa in 1972, and most adults had to work to the Japanese model of efficiency, karate attendance dropped way down. In the mid 80’s there were maybe 130 Okinawan Dojo. Today there are maybe 240 dojo. Quite an increase on a 45 mile long island. And today 75% of the students are youth. Not being there I don’t suggest McDojo, but I’ve seen enough public and private video that they’re training is not terribly different from good traditional youth programs over here.

In the case of Okinawa I suspect the parents send the kids because it’s an Okinawan art, and for all the reasons over here too I bet.

Just some observations…
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#379879 - 02/06/08 08:51 PM Re: McDojo's and "The Consumer" for thought. [Re: cxt]
evad74 Offline

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Qld, Australia

In a very real way the McDojo often gives the customer exactly what they want.

I'd agree with this, and this could be a good or a bad thing. As other's have said if it gets people up and doing something instead of just sitting around, or gets people taking more interest in their kids then I can't really see the harm. I think the problem starts when groups of these people start to convince each other that what they are doing is more than what it really is.

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